The annual Vegas based NAB Show is underway. It is an interesting trade get together, yet few members of the public have ever heard of it. When it comes to electronics showcase events all eyes are on CES. While CES is a trade show, very much the thrust is centered on the end user, the consumer. It is a mecca for displaying new or planned gizmos. NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) is a different beast. Yes, it is about gizmos and services, but these are products that are aimed at industry rather than home users. But what happens at NAB in someways drives what happens in the consumer sector.
In the entertainment industry the keyword is â€˜contentâ€™. Content creation, content manipulation, content delivery, and content safety are some of the key areas. Content is the king.
Some 25 years ago Madona had a huge hit, the chorus of which went:
Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
Today the lyrics might better be written as Â â€œLiving in a digital world, And I am a digital girlâ€.
Long gone is the studio cutting room littered with bits of 35mm film. These have been replaced by computer hardware and software, the Exacto Knife and spicing tape, is now called â€˜Cut and Pasteâ€™. The sharpest implement in the editing room is the mouse!
Also long gone are the reels of film and the marvelous projectors found in theaters. This was brought home to me a few years ago when I attended a press screening. There were some half dozen or so of us press types sitting in a huge theater. The screening was set for 10am, but as the manager of the complex told us, it would be a few minutes late, the movie was still downloading!
NAB is very much an insiders get together. I was pretty sure that I knew at least one person that would be at the event, AMDâ€™s Director of Media and Entertainment, Charlie Boswell. I was right, I managed to catch up with Charlie Boswell as he was headed to the airport on route to Las Vegas. He will be speaking later today at the Sony sponsored Vasst event.Â
He is going to be talking about â€œthe expanding universe of theÂ Sony Creative Software tools and partners, as well hasÂ how Sony Creative Software has leveraged the power of the AMD GPU to accelerate the VegasPro pipeline.Â Boswell continues to be enthusiastic about the Sony VegasPro and will stress the shared vision AMD and Sony have for the sanctity ofÂ creative process and how their teams are working together to make certain the end user is working in native fidelity as close to the speed of thought as possible.â€
OK, let me try and translate that into English. The film, video, and TV world need faster, better, easier to use tools. A major bottleneck is in muscling video around. I think the term is called â€˜renderingâ€™.Â Traditional computer engines called CPUâ€™s are great for Excel spreadsheets, but they are not nearly so good with video. A better solution is a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). It just so happens that AMD have about the best. Â
Unlike other tech nerds, Charlie Boswell gives a damn about the poor sap using the stuff. It should not require a PhD in Astrophysics to leverage the technology. The key is to help the creator create, not bog them down in techy stuff. Some might call him a little outspoken. But I think it is refreshing. You can get a taste of Charlie Boswell here.Â Â Â
I asked him if he would be sharing any â€˜show and tellâ€™ during his presentation. His reply:
Â I will show a trailer from my upcoming docu-drama about the death of the 90s heavy metal scene “Letter to Myself”.Â The contrapuntal themes are rock ‘n’ roll rage and toxic euphoria”.Â Â Shot on XDCAM and edited with Sony VegasPro11.
I tracked down the video. You can find it here.
Â Simon Barrett